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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 21, 2003

The Right Man? Cont.

In an excellent article printed in the Ottawa Citizen, David Warren writes about the recent developments concerning the Roachmap. The article is entitled, "Carrot approach isn't working, it's time to bring in the stick" and includes the following excerpt (bold font added):

Hamas and Fatah have gone back into action in response to the latest "road map to hell." They do this without fail whenever the diplomatic button gets pressed on their behalf. They relax when it doesn't -- and as they were doing for the last many months. The theory behind this is a simple one -- the one-two punch, in which the political arm exploits diplomatic pressure on Israel, while the terrorist arm plays on Israel's longing for security.

Each peace offering -- at least, each offering that includes carrots but no sticks, like the latest "road map" -- is a new reward for such behaviour. When U.S. President George W. Bush, as yesterday in Washington, expresses his determination to pursue peace regardless of the terror hits on Israel -- and especially when he communicates this idea to the new Palestinian prime minister, Abu Mazen -- he plays right into the terrorists' hands. He might as well be saying, "Go ahead, kill as many Jews as you can, that won't stop us making concessions to you."

The alternative is to follow the principles enunciated in the president's excellent speech at the University of South Carolina last Friday, in which the key phrase was: "The future of peace requires the defeat of terror." Sticks work better than carrots to this end, and unless the entire Palestinian leadership can be convinced that they have something to lose by playing these games -- something big, heavy, and final -- their attitude won't change. They'll continue to say they are powerless to stop the terror cells they have armed, trained, encouraged, and directed.

What links Jerusalem with Riyadh with Baghdad, and ultimately with every other city in the Middle East, is the carrots. Wherever Colin Powell or senior members of his State Department go to offer more, there will be violence. Wherever the stick is waved -- as recently in Iraq -- there will be fresh thinking.